Continuing to generate essential funds for the Etowah Valley Humane Society, Casino Night: Place Your Bets on Homeless Pets will be presented Feb. 15. In its 12th year, the benefit will have new venue — Sixes Tavern at 650 Henderson Drive in Cartersville.
"The event will still follow the same format of dinner, a DJ, a silent auction and Vegas-style gaming,” said Meagan Bryson, EVHS board member and Casino Night coordinator. “Doors open at 7 p.m. at dinner, gaming tables open at 8 and the event goes until midnight.
"The event has always been very well received in the past and we anticipate the change of venue to bring even more attendees than previous years. It's a lot of fun and it always draws a good crowd."
Established in the mid-1990s as the Bartow County Humane Society, the organization changed its name to Etowah Valley Humane Society in 2006, the same year it opened the 4,928-square-foot shelter at 36 Ladds Mountain Road. Costing about $300,000 per year to operate, the facility consists of two staff offices, a quarantine room, two visitation rooms, temperature-controlled kennel runs, a cat room with about 24 cages, a puppy room with more than 20 cages, outdoor kennel runs and an on-site dog park.
"I've been on the board for four years now,” Bryson said. “I am passionate about this organization because EVHS strives to reduce the number of homeless pets in Bartow County and in the last 10 years, lives saved are at an all-time high. I'm proud of us as an organization, and I'm thankful for all the allies and partners who have helped make this possible."
Tickets, which cost $60 for general admission or $75 for VIP, can be purchased at the shelter, from an EVHS board member or online at www.betonhomelesspets.com.
“Proceeds from the event will enable EVHS to continue doing what we do best, and that’s saving lives,” EVHS Director Bryan Canty said. “First of all, it will definitely help provide for the health and well-being of the animals that are housed here at the shelter — the ones that we bring in.
"It will help with vetting and utilities, etc. Because you have to remember we bring in about 550 to 600 animals a year. They all have to be vetted before they can leave. We provide heartworm testing for the canines, feline combo testing for the cats, flea/tick treatments, deworming, spay, neuter, rabies, microchip and heartworm prevention. It's quite comprehensive."
Noting Casino Night is EVHS' second largest fundraiser, Canty shared the nonprofit is supported financially primarily by individuals and corporate sponsorships.
"We don't receive any funds from any national animal welfare organizations. So we're an autonomous organization," Canty said. "That's why it's very, very important that events, like these, are successful. We rely heavily on the support of the community.
"We could never ever sustain ourselves, much less have the success that we've had over the years without the support of this community and animal advocates everywhere. Literally, it takes a village, between our licensed rescue partners, transporters, the boarding kennels, veterinarians. You name it — everybody plays a vital role in this rescue cause. That's the only way it can be successful."
For more information about the EVHS, visit http://etowahvalleyhumane.org or call 770-383-3338.